Quality in virtual education environments


  • Elena Barbera

Elena Barbera holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (University of Barcelona, 1995) and an Extraordinary Doctorate Prize. Her research work is specialised in the Psychology of Education. She has published 100 works, presented at conferences, and given training courses in distance education and e-learning, interaction and construction of knowledge, teaching and learning strategies, evaluation of educational quality, and evaluation of learning. Address for correspondence: Elena Barbera, Open University of Catalonia/IN3 Avda Tibidabo, 39-43, 08035 Barcelona, Spain. Tel: +34 932 542 142; fax: +34 934 176 495; email: ebarbera@uoc.edu


The emergence of the Internet has changed the way we teach and learn. This paper provides a general overview of the state of the quality of virtual education environments. First of all, some problems with the quality criteria applied in this field and the need to develop quality seals are presented. Likewise, the dimensions and subdimensions of an empirical instrument to improve and assess the quality of online education are examined. This tool has already been applied to several educational contexts; though not definitive, it aims to improve not only specific areas, but also the whole educational approach as a system.